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Political Poster vandalism needs to be addressed

It appears that we have the same issues we saw during the State by-election. Candidates using roadside trees for their campaign assuming they have impunity simply because the Australian Electoral Commission passes the responsibility to Council to administer and Council has better things to do then be the deputy-dog for a Commission that refuses to fine or offer consequence.

So here we are once again, election time, and it appears that we have the same quandary again. The Election Act (section 184) requires that advertising material, including signs and posters, cannot be displayed on or within land or buildings occupied, used by, or under the control or management of the Crown, NSW Government agencies, or a Council.

Local roads and State highways fit this definition. Should we take down the political posters illegally attached to roadside trees in our neighbourhood? By nailing a poster to a tree it is clear that the candidate is declaring that they have little respect for the community not the environment. It is little more than a snub and a dare you to complain, knowing there are no immediate consequences. The only possible consequence is that the community see the signs for what they are and react negatively at the voting booth. This was the case with the voter backlash received to a candidate during the State Government by-election and to a candidate in the September 2021 Council election. The rules are clear yet, for some reason these candidates consider they are above the rules. It is Eurobodalla Council’s interpretation that election posters cannot be erected/placed:

• on trees; • on footpath areas; or • on any structure within a road reserve.

On receipt of complaint Council contacts the election candidates during the election campaign to remind them of their responsibilities for election posters. If the sign is not removed Council can issue a fine. But they don't. And the offending candidates and their supporters know this, and continue to flaunt the rules. When you consider the cost of the corflutes that are beginning to litter our region you might like to consider how much this marketing costs and note that it appears only the major parties, at the moment, can afford this style of electioneering with the small parties and the independents abiding by the rules and mindful of the perception the community has for environmental vandals. The signs below are just some of the ones that The Beagle has received in the past days. So far they appear to be promoting one candidate. To be absolutely fair and critical of any environmental vandal who shows disdain for the rules and disrespect of the community and of the tree they choose to sink nails into please send in any photos you have. The ones below will be passed on to Council rangers so that they might at least make contact with the candidate concerned. Be sure to contact Council on 44741000 in the first instance to report this kind of wanton vandalism.





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